COVID-19 notwithstanding, there will be an MLB Amateur Draft this year. Because the coronavirus has upset the baseball apple cart, however, we don't have a date certain. All we know is that the draft has been postponed from its usual early-June perch to some time in July, and that it'll likely be an online affair. But at least it's going to happen, which is more than we can say for the actual big league regular season. #Frown
Baseball America posted its 2020 Mock Draft this morning. A subscription is required and I'm going to honor the paywall, so what follows will be edited considerably, but you should get the idea.
A caveat from BA writer Carlos Collazo: "I would urge readers to think of this mock draft as a more holistic overview of where the 2020 talent is stacking up at this point, rather than checking your favorite team’s selection and walking away with confidence that the player will be drafted in that spot."
BA expects the Tigers to take first baseman Spencer Torkelson, of Arizona State University, with the first pick in the draft, with Vanderbilt outfielder, Austin Martin, going to Baltimore next and left-hand pitcher Asa Lacy, of Texas A&M being picked third by the Marlins.
The Dodgers, with their 106-win 2019 season, will draft last and 29th this time around. BA projects shortstop Ed Howard, of Mount Carmel (Illinois) High School as L.A.'s first pick. He's 6 ' 2", 185, bats right and throws right.
Here's what BA has to say about him:
"This is a poor prep shortstop class, but if Howard slides to pick 29 and gets taken by the Dodgers, it sure feels like the rich getting richer.
While he has upside as a hitter, the polished part of Howard’s game comes from his glove. He’s a no-doubt shortstop at the next level as a solid athlete with reliable hands and a strong, accurate throwing arm...moves fluidly in the middle of the diamond and has the ability to throw from all angles with excellent body control and a solid internal clock.
"He’s a solid runner, but not a burner by any means...shows all the tools you want to see, with good bat speed, some bat-to-ball skill...has plenty of room to add more muscle and impact ability. At present he’s more of a gap-to-gap, line-drive type hitter, but scouts want to see him refine his approach.
"While he is committed to Oklahoma, it’s rare for the top high school shortstop to not go in the first round, and a team that buys into his upside could jump on him in the middle or back half of the first round."
And remember, glove conquers all.
Howard Cole has been writing about baseball on the internet since Y2K. Follow him on Twitter.